On Friday, September 19, Berlanti Productions (same guys responsible for production of Arrow and upcoming show The Flash) in association with Warner Bros officially announced that they would be producing a Supergirl television series for CBS. The show already has some established people working on it, which is evidence of a good foundation. It will most likely have an origin story and many supporting comic book characters to flesh out Kara Zor-el’s character. The show will aim to stay as close to the comics as it can, with the following premise:
Born on the planet Krypton, Kara Zor-el escaped amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she’s been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.
I truly like Supergirl as a character, she’s young playful, cute and very likeable. She’s basically every young blonde girl on T.V. The majority of American primetime shows have had the same formula, or at least had some of the same consistent elements, since the dawn of television; a “perfect” protagonist; young, very attractive, blonde, with that something that makes her dynamic. The something is that she is silly or fits the stereotype of a “dumb blonde”, she’s a heartthrob or in rare cases she’s empowering like Emily on Revenge. There’s always some sort of a love story (Richard Malverne) and an identity crisis (living in the shadow of being Big Blue’s cousin). Moral of the story, I think it was a safe choice for NBC to take on Supergirl. They are jumping into the comic book adaptation rat race just like 94% of Hollywood and using a very well known character. Even if you don’t know anything about Supergirl, you know the famous red and blue outfit. It seems to be a common thread for DC to give popular or well-known characters many different opportunities, (like the slew of Batman movies and shows) and leave lesser know fascinating characters underutilized. Just think, how interesting would a suspense-mystery show based on The Question be? They broke that tradition when they decided to give Green Arrow a chance and it’s proved to be a huge payoff. One of the best elements of the Arrow is that he is flawed. We watched Oliver Queen make many mistakes but more importantly, we saw his evolution, which added weight to how we perceived his future endeavors.
Power Girl is a character with that same potential for growth, but what is special about her is that she matures into one hell of a woman. Karen Starr’s whole identity is to mock sexism, embrace female sexuality and independence. Unlike Wonder-Woman, she isn’t the ambassador of all women and peace; she is just a typical girl dealing with obstacles that every woman tends to face. The only difference is that she has powers and decides to use them to be a hero. She demonstrates that a woman can be “just one of the guys” as well as sexy. Like Iron-Man, there really isn’t too much of a divide between Karen Starr and Power Girl. She often forgets about her secret identity and has a tendency to walk through the front door of her apartment in her costume.
She’s has a strong presence in every aspect of her life, but is still very self-aware. She has hang ups about relationship problems and debates with herself about wearing sweatpants to the office.
Power Girl is very certain of herself in a society that can be cruel, especially towards women. Her stories acknowledge that we live in a patriarchal society and draw attention to the sad fact that men only find her attractive because of her physique and not her self-sufficiency. She confronts everyday sexism and makes a mockery of those who perform it. While fighting a villain she often questions whether or not she can win, but she shakes off the doubtful thoughts and reminds herself how great she really is. She pulls herself up when she’s down. Power Girl is an empowering heroine, a type of super-hero character we’ve never seen on screen before.
Feminism is lacking in mainstream media. Power Girl embodies the ideals of feminism and equality but would also be a great choice for fulfilling the female super hero in media fix everyone is asking for. Power Girl would be more of an appropriate choice to show the levels of an everyday woman, but most importantly, to show that women can be flawed while remaining every bit still as “Powerful”.